Blue Quills First Nations College became University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills in September 2015.
In 1970, the Blue Quills Native Education Council was incorporated to take over operations of the former Blue Quills Indian Residential School and became the first Indigenous owned and governed educational centre in Canada. Serving the academic and training needs of people of all cultures, encouraging everyone to experience studying in a unique socio-cultural and academic environment. As an Indigenous non-profit educational institution, a prime objective is to promote a sense of pride in Indigenous heritage and reclaim traditional knowledge and practices. Blue Quills is governed by seven appointed Board members, each representing one of the seven local First Nations communities: Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, Frog Lake Cree Nation, Whitefish Lake First Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, and Saddle Lake Cree Nation, plus one Elder from the Saddle Lake First Nation. These communities represent at least 18,836 people (source – Alberta Aboriginal Relations as of January 2013).
Located approximately 200 kilometers northeast of Edmonton, Blue Quills occupies 240 acres of designated Reserve land near the town of St. Paul, Alberta.
Originally built in the early 1930’s and formerly a federally sponsored church operated residential school, the College now houses college and university programs for area residents. In 2020, Blue Quills celebrated 50 years as Canada’s first Indigenous controlled education centre. Throughout the 50 years, Blue Quills invested in building relationships and partnerships: including Maskwachees Cultural College, Athabasca University, Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan Community College, Lakeland College, Keyano College, Nechi Institute, University of Calgary, and San Diego State University.
Blue Quills is a founding member of the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium, partnering with other Indigenous institutions and programs to advance programming and educational opportunities for adults ensuring an Indigenous learning environment and content.
In 1998, Blue Quills initiated the Leadership and Management Program which is founded on a cultural paradigm, designed to facilitate personal and organizational growth and change for all cultures of people. This program is the first degree offered by an independent Indigenous institution in this province, and is transferable to mainstream institutions in the region. The launch of this program marks a definitive transformation for the College, from being dependent on mainstream institutions and programming, to designing our own curriculum and delivery models reflecting the wholistic paradigm.
In November 2000, we were accredited by the First Nations Accreditation Board, offering the most powerful and meaningful accreditation, coming from our communities and future employers of our graduates. Through the current structures and processes mandated by the Chiefs and the First Nations, this accreditation has allowed BQFNC to retain the integrity to the protection of our Treaty rights.
The message that we believe in ourselves is an inspiration to our children and grandchildren; something we can leave to those who will come after us.
“Treaty Protection Site for Education” Motion from the Blue Quills Board of Governors
The Board of Governors of Blue Quills First Nations College are willing to serve the people and Nations of Treaty Six Territory and act as a Treaty Protection Site for Education by providing education, research, and information on the Treaty Right to Education for all Treaty Six First Nations and Canadian citizens. All in favor. Motion carried.
Blue Quills has hosted workshops on this topic and the main rational for this is:
To engage awareness about the current educational realities; to provide a forum for people to ask questions; to understand our identity as distinct Treaty & Indigenous Peoples; and to strategize about what is within our power to act. Know your inherent responsibilities to stand united for the next generations!
New Program Possibilities
We want to hear from you!! What new programs would you like to see at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills? There are many possibilities and if there is a high demand, we will seriously look at the feasibility of having new programs here at Blue Quills. So many young people are into electronics and technology. Could there be a demand for animation, photography, digital story books, sound engineering, and I am sure some of you can think of more.
PLEASE email us your ideas or phone them in, we will certainly look at the possibilities. Phone Peggy at 1-888-645-4455 extension 111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org